I neglected to award a Robert O’Brien trophy for the month of March, so let me do so belatedly now. March’s winner, for comments made in April, is Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. On the floor of the Senate yesterday, Cornyn delivered a ridiculous speech to an almost empty chamber in which he blamed the recent incidents of violence against judges on judicial activism:
In a Senate floor speech in which he sharply criticized a recent Supreme Court ruling on the death penalty, Cornyn (R-Tex.) — a former Texas Supreme Court justice and member of the Judiciary Committee — said Americans are growing increasingly frustrated by what he describes as activist jurists.
“It causes a lot of people, including me, great distress to see judges use the authority that they have been given to make raw political or ideological decisions,” he said. Sometimes, he said, “the Supreme Court has taken on this role as a policymaker rather than an enforcer of political decisions made by elected representatives of the people.”
Cornyn continued: “I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection, but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. . . . And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in, engage in violence. Certainly without any justification, but a concern that I have.”
Uh, yeah Jon. When the violent defendant in a rape trial in Atlanta took a deputy’s gun and shot up the courtroom a few weeks ago, killing a judge in the process, he was lashing out in protest of the Supreme Court’s usage of foreign court opinions in formulating their rulings. When the family of the Chicago judge was murdered recently by a man the judge had ruled against in a malpractice suit, it was strictly to send a message to those damn “activist judges” who engage in “judicial tyranny” by limiting the authority of majorities to regulate the private lives of individuals.
The article goes on to note that there have been 10 judges murdered in the US since 1970, 7 of them job-related. And in almost every case, they were murdered by a nutcase who got ruled against in a case seeking revenge. People who kill judges do so because they’re violent criminals, not because they’re upset over alleged judicial misunderstanding of the intricacies of constitutional law. But my favorite part was his spokesman’s comment:
Cornyn spokesman Don Stewart declined to speculate on what instances of violence the senator had in mind. “He was talking about things that have come up and concerned him,” Stewart said.
Yeah. I mean, he couldn’t possibly be arguing that the two recent cases of judicial homocide – the only two cases that he could possibly be referring to, mind you – were caused by judicial activism because, well, only a moron or a demagogue would argue such a thing. So he was just talking about, ya know, things and that kind of stuff. He was talking about purely hypothetical things, the kinds of things that hadn’t actually happened, which is why it was important for him to speculate on the cause of these imaginary effects. And his absurd speculations have earned him a belated Robert O’Brien Trophy as March’s Idiot of the Month. Congratulations, Senator. Perhaps you can put this trophy on the mantle next to all those other….things.